From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Executive and the leadership of the National Assembly have agreed on a 60-day timeline for some specific bills to be passed that will improve ease of doing business in the country.
This decision was reached at the expanded meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council yesterday, chaired by Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, with Senate President, Bukola Sakari, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, in attendance.
The two critical bills on ease of doing business that need to be speedily passed within the period are the Credit Bureau Bill and Collateral Transactions Security Bill.
The World Bank report of October 2016 ranked Nigeria 169th out of 190 countries on the ease of doing business.
Addressing the press at the end of the meeting, which lasted about four hours, Osinbajo said the idea of having the Senate President and the Speaker present was to be able to work together to improve business environment in Nigeria.
“We have looked at three broad areas that we are trying to improve ease of doing business. They are: Entry and exit of goods, entry and exit of persons into Nigeria and the general transparency and efficiency in government agencies and parastatals. Of course, the idea is to provide an environment for those who want to do business (both local and foreign) in Nigeria.
“A lot of work has already been done; there are pieces of legislation we are also looking forward to seeing and we have been working with the National Assembly to ensure that these pieces of legislation are passed. There are some improvements we expect to see at our ports, airports, seaports, immigration, granting of visas and those kinds of things.
“We have set timelines for ourselves to ensure we are not just speaking about these things without necessarily tying ourselves down to specific timelines. So we are looking forward to an improved business environment in the shortest possible time,” he said.
Saraki on his part said their presence as part of the expanded meeting of the business environment council was to emphasise the importance of the meeting, which he described as a very good initiative.